She was nice named the Black Greta Garbo, and one look at her proved why. She dispelled the myth at African Americans were ugly, untalented and stupid.
Nina Mae McKinney had starred in an all African American cast show, Hallelujah. The amazing job she did in that show, gained her a contract from MGM. It turned out to be a hollow victory. They only offered her roles as maids and servants, and never any lead roles.
McKinney was not the only African American who refused to deal with the hand she was dealt in the entertainment industry. Josephine Baker received a scathing review from a mainstream newspaper critic who called her homely and untalented. But in France, she became an icon by singing, dancing and pushing her talent to new limits
Our beauty has pushed through a lot of pain, but it has pushed through.